[ilds] DG Bitter Lemons -- A WATER-COLOUR OF VENICE

Michael Haag michaelhaag at btinternet.com
Thu Jul 5 20:29:59 PDT 2007


Yes, you.

:Michael


On Friday, July 6, 2007, at 04:14  am, slighcl wrote:

> Has anyone ever put forward a claim that Durrell's poetry from the 
> 1950s--The Tree of Idleness &c.--is his strongest verse?
>
> ***
>
> Durrell, Lawrence:  A WATER-COLOUR OF VENICE [from Collected Poems: 
> 1931-1974 (1985), Faber and Faber]
>
> Zarian was saying: Florence is youth,
> And after it Ravenna, age,
> Then Venice, second-childhood.
>
> The pools of burning stone where time
> And water, the old siege-masters,
> Have run their saps beneath
> A thousand saddle-bridges,
> Puffed up by marble griffins drinking,
>
> [Page 214 ]
>
> And all set free to float on loops
> Of her canals like great intestines
> Now snapped off like a berg to float,
> Where now, like others, you have come alone,
> To trap your sunset in a yellow glass,
> And watch the silversmith at work
> Chasing the famous salver of the bay ...
>
> Here sense dissolves, combines to print only
> These bitten choirs of stone on water,
> To the rumble of old cloth bells,
> The cadging of confetti pigeons,
> A boatman singing from his long black coffin ...
>
> To all that has been said before
> You can add nothing, only that here,
> Thick as a brushstroke sleep has laid
> Its fleecy unconcern on every visage,
>
> At the bottom of every soul a spoonful of sleep.
>
> 1955/1950
>
>
>
> -- 
> **********************
> Charles L. Sligh
> Department of English
> Wake Forest University
> slighcl at wfu.edu
> **********************
>
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